- Title: TAIWAN / JAPAN: Protesters burn Japanese flags in disputed islands rally
- Date: 15th September 2010
- Summary: TAIPEI, TAIWAN (SEPTEMBER 14, 2010) (REUTERS) PROTESTERS GATHERING IN FRONT OF THE DE FACTO JAPANESE EMBASSY PROTESTERS HOLDING BANNER READING: DIAOYUTAI IS OURS PROTESTERS CHANTING: APOLOGIZE, RELEASE A SIGN READING: DIAOYUTAI IS OURS A PROTESTER DUMPING OUT A LOAD OF FISH FISH AND RIPPED JAPANESE FLAG ON THE GROUND PROTESTERS THROWING FISH TOWARDS THE BUILDING FISH ON THE GROUND BY THE FEET OF A POLICEMAN POLICE SHIELDING WHILE FISH IS BEING THROWN AT THE BUILDING PROTESTERS HOLDING UP JAPANESE FLAGS PROTESTERS RIPPING JAPANESE FLAGS PROTESTERS SHOUTING SLOGANS: APOLOGIZE, RELEASE (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CROSS-STRAIT PEACE FORUM CONVENER, WU JUNG-YUAN, SAYING: "We need to let Japan know that the U.S. cannot decide about our property, even with the strong backing of the U.S.-Japan Security Pact, the Chinese people will not compromise. We want to take this opportunity to tell them that they cannot decided this arbitrarily." JAPANESE REPRESENTATIVE WALKING OUT OF THE BUILDING A PROTEST LETTER PREPARED BY TAIWANESE PROTESTERS THE JAPANESE REPRESENTATIVE RECEIVING THE PROTEST LETTER THE JAPANESE REPRESENTATIVE LEAVING PROTESTERS SHOUTING: DIAOYUTAI IS OURS PROTESTERS BURNING JAPANESE NAVY FLAG FLAG ON FIRE
- Embargoed: 30th September 2010 13:00
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVACK9XAY5GCZY9HP2H2J79IHECT
- Story Text: Dozens of protesters threw fish and burned flags in front of the de facto Japanese embassy in Taipei on Tuesday (September 14) to voice their anger triggered by recent incidents in the waters near Senkaku Islands, or Diaoyutai, as they are known in Taiwan.
Demonstrators gathered outside the building of the Japan Interchange Association Tuesday morning, held up banners and signs and chanted: "Diaoyutai is ours", to claim sovereignty and fishery rights over the disputed islands.
One-hundred-and-fifty police forces were dispatched to the site.
A representative from the Japanese embassy came out of the building to receive a letter of complaint prepared by the protesters, but the group was dissatisfied as Japanese authorities failed to send a high ranking official to receive them.
The protesters criticized the recent increase of incidents near Diaoyutai as a long term plot of Japan to broaden its naval activities in order to secure territorial claims.
"We need to let Japan know that the U.S. cannot decide about our property, even with the strong backings of the U.S.-Japan Security Pact, the Chinese people will not compromise. We want to take this opportunity to tell them that they cannot decided this arbitrarily," said Wu Jung-yuan of the Cross-strait Peace Forum.
A Chinese fishing boat collided with Japanese coast guards on September 7, resulting in the detainment of the crew and captain. Fourteen of the crew members were released on Monday (September 13), except for the captain.
On Monday (September 13), two Taiwanese activists sailed off to the disputed waters, but was expelled by Japanese coast guards.
Japan said that it managed to turn back the Taiwanese ship, and that it has already contacted the Taiwanese government regarding the issue.
"We have issued strong protests using diplomatic channels to the Taiwanese government," said Yoshito Sengoku, Japan's chief cabinet secretary.
While the islands are also claimed by both China and Taiwan, he asserted that Japan's actions in turning away the Taiwanese protest ship were justified.
"There is no doubt historically or under international law that the Senkaku islands are Japan's territory. As such, we believe that our response at this time has been appropriate," he added.
The islets, claimed by Japan, China, and Taiwan, are thought to lie near potential oil and gas reserves with vastly varying estimates.
A Japanese survey estimated the entire East China Sea may hold 7 trillion cubic feet of gas, while Chinese estimates range from 175 trillion to 210 trillion cubic feet.
In 1895, the island chain was handed over to Japan as stipulated in the Treaty of Shimonoseki, which put an end to the Sino-Japanese war.
After World War II, the islands were controlled by the United States, which also occupied Okinawa at that time. U.S. control over Okinawa and the outlying islands ended in 1972, when the islands were handed back to Japan, triggering Chinese criticism ever since.
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